Charming ballet costumes in postcards


Feia kukol

[La Fée des poupées]

Publication: Ilin, Skt. Peterburg, 1904.

BAKST, Leon, Feia kukol

A complete set of these lovely postcards showing ballet costumes by the master of the genre, who would later be central to Diaghilev’s ‘Ballets Russes’.

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Our Notes & References

Complete set of these lovely postcards with costumes for Bakst’s “first complete ballet” production (Schouvaloff).

For the Hermitage production of Joseph Bayer’s ballet ‘Die Puppenfee’ [The Fairy Doll] in 1903, Leon Bakst (1866-1924), one of the founders of the famous art group ‘Mir Iskusstva’ [World of Art], created the costume and set designs, moving the setting from contemporary Vienna to St Petersburg of the 1850s. Bakst “was extremely enthusiastic about this work” (Makarova), as recalled his friend and colleague Alexandre Benois, whose collection of folk toys served as a source of inspiration for the characters in this ballet.

It “was Bakst’s third production, [and] ignoring Sylvia which was not produced, his first ballet […] By the time he came to design The Fairy Doll, he had not only mastered most of the techniques but had developed his individual style which, quite new to theatre design, applied especially to the design of costumes” (Schouvaloff).

Shortly after the premiere, the present series of postcards were published for the benefit of the St. Eugenia Red Cross Society in 1904. Fresh and charming, some highlighted with gilt, they feature the most attractive costumes and characters of the ballet.

After his success with ‘Die Puppenfee’, Bakst would soon become one of the most prominent theatre designers of European modernism thanks to his important contributions to Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes from 1908 onwards.

Item number



Physical Description

Complete set of twelve loose postcards (14.3 x 9.1 cm) printed in colours after Bakst, most heightened with gilt.


As usual some discrepancy in the cards colour: cards 1, 6, 11 and 12 are here lighter, the others more brown.

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